DURHAM, N.C. – After a historic run at the ACC Championship on April 17-18, the No. 12 Duke rowing team prepares for the second NCAA Championship appearance in school history this weekend at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind.
The Blue Devils enter the championship as the 16th seed in the V8, 11th seed in the 2V8 and seventh seed in the V4. The seven seed is the highest for any Blue Devil boat at the NCAA Championship.
In her fourth season as head coach, Megan Cooke Carcagno led Duke to its best campaign in program history as the Blue Devils totaled 90 points and earned their first gold medal in school history at the ACC Championship with the V4 boat. All four other boats claimed silver medals as Duke placed second for the second time in four years. Cooke Carcagno was awarded ACC Coach of the Year, the second in four years (2016).
The V4 boat consisting of Rani Duff, Amelia Shunk, Olivia Von Stauffenberg, Anne Klok and Tara Christensen clocked a time of 7:22.300, outracing nationally ranked Syracuse and Virginia for the gold medal. Shunk was awarded ACC Freshman of the Year for her efforts throughout the season and ACC Championship, Duke’s first ACC Freshman of the Year since Katie Dukovich in 2013.
Along with its second-place ACC Championship showing, Duke had plenty of success during the regular season. On March 9, the Blue Devils won their third straight Carolina Cup by defeating North Carolina and Clemson head to head. Two weekends later, at the Cooper Sprints in Camden, N.J., Duke placed three boats in first (2V8, 4V8, 2V4) out of 15 schools.
At the Big Ten/ACC Dual, Duke defeated No. 7 Ohio State head to head in the 2V4 and V4 races. The Blue Devils capped off the regular season by winning the Lake Wheeler Invitational, scoring 99 total points and defeating eight other schools.
Duke has raced head to head against six teams who also qualified for the NCAA Championships, including Michigan, Navy, Ohio State, Rutgers, UCF and Virginia.
The V8 opens competition Friday at 9 a.m., as Duke holds lane five in heat number one. The Blue Devils are in lane two in heat three in the 2V8, and end the day in lane four in heat two in the V4.